Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-12-2021


This project demonstrates that natural imagery in the Heroides is an emotionally charged space that exists as more than just background description. The first chapter explores how descriptions of the pastoral landscape reflect the shifting love affair of Oenone and Paris: when the love is reciprocal, the pastoral landscape is idyllic and peaceful; once Oenone realizes her attempt to win Paris back is futile, the pastoral landscape becomes more antagonistic. Ultimately, Oenone’s rusticitas proves to be incompatible with Paris’ newly acquired cultus, which I suggest can be read as an expression of the opposition between modern refinement and renewal of ancient values of Augustan Rome. Chapter Two explores imagery of the sea in Heroides 2, 5, 6, and 10, and argues that Ovid uses sea imagery to explore the psychological dimensions of abandonment and its resulting trauma in the women of these poems. The men of the Heroides use the sea as a venue of travel to abandon the women they once loved, and the women of the Heroides invest the sea with the negative emotions they feel. Overall, this discussion of the emotional aspects of landscape demonstrates the underlying political implications of Ovid’s Heroides.


Ovid, Heroides, Intratextuality, Elegy, Natural imagery

Document Type




Degree Name

Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Osman Umurhan

Second Committee Member

Dr. Monica Cyrino

Third Committee Member

Dr. Lorenzo F. Garcia Jr.